Re-Discovering the City

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Meera Rajan

Meera Rajan, a former student of Jadavpur University has completed her Post Graduation in Applied Geology. She is from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and currently she is pursuing her research in JU, Kolkata. She is a vivid reader; she spends her time writing poems and stories. Her dream is to join the Defence and serve for the nation. She shares her experiences about the first session she attended in Treasures of Innocence.

Like the key which opens the door, there is an initiation in everything. Being a South Indian, I moved to Kolkata to pursue my studies after 12th. Everything seemed difficult to get adjusted with the new place and people. I thought I wouldn’t survive for long but something instigated to fight with the world leaving behind my shyness. It almost took three years to fully absorb the place – ‘The City of Joy’. By then I had fully learnt the language and was brave enough to tackle situations which came along.

The city gave me immense joy and pleasures but something was void in my lonely boarder’s life. It was just the same college routine, attending classes, hanging out with friends and gossiping with them for hours and hours in tea stalls near the university gate and then back again to the hostel ending up the day’s work. It was just static boring life.
One day I suddenly came across a poster in facebook inviting a call for volunteers in ‘Treasures of Innocence’. I immediately contacted Rani di and had a small meeting about the programmes and what the organisation is doing. I was astonished that a single lady was handling so many works.  and I too wanted to join her and help many people who are ready to learn beyond what is taken in their school. And there it began my journey with TOI.
Most of the weekends for me were boring and there was nothing to do practically rather than sit inside the four walls. Then I thought I can manage my studies as well as taking my volunteer-ship and learn from the children, make new friends and also teach them the knowledge I have gained so far. After all education is successful only when it is imparted to others.
Then Rani di and I had a meeting in Jadavpur University and she briefly described the modules and what the organization is doing. I was astonished that a single lady was handling so many works and I too wanted to join her and help many people who are ready to learn what is taken beyond their school syllabus.
During the month of November 2014, I started my first venture with TOI. I was scared like a little child being admitted to school on her first day. We entered Kailash Vidhyamandir in Chetla. I was surprised to see around 96 students all enjoying their Sunday, some sleeping still at 10 am and some running around and playing. Immediately when Rani di and I entered people ran to us brought their books and showed their previous days pictures drawn by them and the laid down their mats for the class. I was so happy to see them move swiftly and readily sitting to listen for the next two hours.
I introduced myself to them in Bengali and they were surprised to hear from me that I was from Tamil Nadu. And they wanted me to talk a few words in Tamil, that inquisitiveness to listen to a new language made the atmosphere feel like I was home with so many young minds . And then we started our session with the module “Who Am I “. I was really surprised the talents every child was possessing. Their sketching made me spellbound. Age group of 9-14 years could draw like a professional artist. I was awestruck! I really enjoyed my first session and that Sunday in my life would be the most memorable Sunday where I learnt, I taught , I made new friends , I learned what my life was lacking so far. The real enjoyment is not always spending time shopping , hanging out for movies and gossiping all unnecessary things.The real happiness lies where there is a smile in the child’s face and making them feel like home.The happiest moment in their face, made a precious moment in my life ! And there I began my journey with TOI.

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